Monday, March 9, 2009

Litter bug

Perhaps you've read about some of the pests we've been dealing with and as with all of them the ultimate goal is to kill them. Dead. Gone. Enjoy whatever little green heaven you subscribe to. However, the latest and more troublesome "guest" in our garden has been leaving a very succinct and destructive calling card. We'll call him/her F. catus, and the F doesn't stand for Fun. But unlike the other un-welcomes this is not a pest one sets about to exterminate. Instead the job becomes one of deterrence, at which we've had moderate success. The most effective solution we've had to date is to poke a bunch of sticks into the ground (see photo). I also apply good dose of hot sauce (I use Tapatio or Valentina) to the dirt which seems to help but doesn't work on its own. While it's not the most visually appealing solution it doesn't require chemicals or batteries like some of the advertised products I've seen.


C'est ne pas une litter box

I'm curious to hear if you have a solution. Whether it's from dealing with the same problem or if you simply have a creative idea that we may be overlooking. What ever it is post it in the comment section of this post. At some point in the near future we'll have look at what you've come up with and pick one as our favorite and award that person a nominally priced gift from Seed Savers Exchange.

Fred

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16 comments:

celeste kellerhouse said...

just put Gracie in the front!

taylor nairn said...

coffee grounds spread over the dirt, old or new.

Mike Czech said...

I just had the same problem with THREE neighborhood cats... bamboo BBQ skewers solved my problem. I am a little more careful tending to my plants, but no more cats! I will have to try the coffee grounds next time, that would probably be better for the soil as well!

Adriana said...

I've had the same problem. Now throw in a rambunctious beloved pet of your own. My Rocky (dog) jumped into one of my beds yesterday. I had just planted 8 different types of squash and 4 eggplants. It was almost a seedling massacre. I digress.

Since I can’t give him or the ferals a good beating here’s my solution. Black garbage bags. They act like mulch, you give the heat loving seedlings heat and keep the poop OUT! Another solution, galvanized hardware cloth, you can find it at a big box hardware store. You can cut it to size, water through it, trap a cat... Kidding!

Anonymous said...

random thoughts:

aliens and cats hate foil. cats hate walking on it, aliens hate it when you wear it as a 'protective' hat. line the wood on the tops of the beds?

cats dislike citrus smell. (lemon/orange) spray the wood on the beds?

or make a peace offering of some catnip planted away from the main garden?

:-)

yvette said...

Thank you thank you. I have laughed. I have cried. I have loved all of these comments and ideas. Keep 'em coming!

XXX
Yvette

fred davis said...

Judy, can you please submit your post again. I forgot to take off my tin-foil hat which caused me to accidently delete your post.

Sorry,
Fred

Stephanie said...

I've had the same problem and recently read on another website that you can use chicken wire. It is best to put it down before you start your garden and plant your seeds right through the holes, but you can also put it on top of new plants and cut a hole around it. It prevents them from being able to dig and they will find a new spot!

cindy mcnatt said...

Black pepper, cause they sniff before they, you know. And the sticks? Make those rose canes.

LBTudor said...

This happened to me over the weekend. First the tomato now the squash. So gross. I have a bunch of bamboo skewers, maybe i'll try that. Thanks-

Anonymous said...

Try these:

http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=2&p=10302&cat=2,51555&ap=2

Robert said...

My wife has a lot of tomato cages. She has found that if she lays them around the veggie plants, the F catus will go elsewhere. The cages don't blow away in the wind, they cover a lot of space, and best of all, they work. Not very attractive though.

Court said...

we are right between two cat houses...so they venture into our front entry flower beds for their potty. horrible i tell you! we have used a product, critter ridder that has worked so far. we are also going to put down some chicken wire. as for the skewers- how far apart are we talking? for the coffee grounds- just right on top of the soil?

Sarah said...

We've got two cats that stay indoors, and loads of neighborhood cats that like to hang out in our yard (irritating! Cat owners - do everyone a favor and start keeping your kitties IN! Better for them, the ocean, and your neighbors)

Anyway - we have found that the cats will not walk on cocoa mulch. I guess it's prickly on their little paws. Maybe you could plant through that, similar to the coffee grounds? Or surround the beds with it? It's more expensive than other mulch, but between repelling cats and smelling like chocolate, I'm splurging.

Good Luck, love your site!

celeste kellerhouse said...

here it is:
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/gardening/cat-scat-mats-protect-your-garden-055050

Anonymous said...

I tried everything with only one success: cayenne pepper powder.

I sprinkle cayenne pepper atop the surface of the soil. I believe it’s a double threat: up the nose when they smell for a spot and on the tongue when they clean their paws. I begin with a thorough dowsing to begin and then more sparingly as the season advances and the cats begin to have negative associations to my garden. I find the only drawbacks are the need to reapply regularly and the cost (which I try to minimize by hitting up the bulk food aisle).